Friday

Today we had the opportunity to go to a new outreach project in the countryside, Sibra. This is the first year that our partner church has worked in this area. Currently they have 2 families that are a part of the congregation who are planting this church.

Driving out of the countryside to Sibra, we see many dusty roads/paths off to either side, suddenly, we stop at one of these desolate paths and are told it’s time to walk in. The path would not hold our 22 passenger bus, so we would walk on foot about 20 minutes till we reach the church, which is in someone’s home. We walk the rough terrain, in the hot sun, as the dry dirt and dust blow around us and many Ethiopians began to look at us with intrigue and some chose to follow us to see where we were headed.

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When we get to the home/church, we are warmly greeted by chickens, goats, and yes, the two gracious families that are planting this church. We spend time sharing a few words and then praying, followed by singing and a time of worship in each others respective languages. We then offered a few small gifts, we offer shoes for the church to pass to those in the community who have none, not in the name of us, from America, but as an outpouring of their love for those they come in contact with and work with. We also offer some soccer balls, beach balls and jump ropes for them to use while reaching out to the children in the area.

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When our time is done with them, we then split into 6 small groups with evangelists from our sister church, who become our interpreters as we go throughout the community to share the love of Christ. As we went on, we discovered that not only was the physical soil and terrain rough, but so were the spiritual hearts. Matthew 13:3-9 became alive and more vivid to us as we walked these paths and talked with many in the community. Some of us were chased off of properties, some had willing ears to hear, until others came and pressured them to leave our conversation, some saw the Bibles we gave them shredded and thrown to the ground. Others heard the Word, but did not choose to follow Christ, and a few young children came to accept Jesus as their Savior. While we do not know the full impact we might have had on this outreach, we can be assured that His Word does not go void, and He has used us and the evangelists from our partner church in a small way to plant a seed.

We had our final home visits of the week with a few precious children and their families. These visits are a highlight of each team member on the trip.

Shanna, Chad & Jay stayed at the church that evening for their prayer and healing service. Chad delivered the message on healing, and at the conclusion asked the congregation who needed prayer and healing. About 70 people came and lined up in 3 rows. For the next hour or so, we prayed for each request and saw miracles of God’s healing of asthma and chronic headaches, manifestations of the Holy Spirit, and many other miracles that can only can happen by the hand of God.

As we close out each day, we often take time to share our highs and lows. Each of us have processed so much on each and every day. Our eyes have witnessed so much – and we have seen different things with our own perspective. Many of the lows were seeing the Word of God fall on hard ground. I love the perspective of one, who shared that the ground has been tilled. It’s not easy work, but it has been tilled. We can pray that the soil will become ripe for harvest. One of the highs of the day came from one of the boys on our trip who is hear with his dad. He said his high was that ‘his dad inspires him’. He went on to share that he has witnessed his dad evangelizing and sharing God’s love with others, and that is what has been the ‘coolest thing’ on this trip so far, is to be inspired by his dad!

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